It is a very good practice to check any fresh design before approval and implementation. Testing delivers a proof-of-concept for the proposal. The testing stage gives you the opportunity to pinpoint parts of the project that do not function correctly and redesign them.
Many corporate networks have design changes. For that reason, the network designers must always test the function of critical areas of the new design before making the final plan.
There are two common approaches used to test a net strategy:
Creating a prototype net – A prototype net contains only the portion of the network needed to test a specific capability or function. Prototype networks are isolated from the current network.
Set up a pilot net – A pilot is a test of new capability or functionality using a small part of the existing network.
Both approaches test the functions of the project that disturb the network’s capability to meet the high-priority corporate goals.
Choosing a Pilot or Prototype
The choice to make a prototype or a pilot test depends on the next elements:
1. the kind of testing required,
2. the possible disruption from a pilot on the current network.
Prototypes are typically easy to create and control because no active net employers are affected. In prototype nets, it is simple to take a network appliance offline, make configuration or hardware changes, and repeat the test under different conditions. In a pilot, this kind of test can create long disruptions in the network.
When to Make a Pilot?
Various functions of the future net can be tested using prototypes. On the other hand, using a pilot is a fine option in the next circumstances:
When the prototype network is not large enough to test functionality – Testing how a routing protocol is working in a net with two hundred network appliances may not be possible in a prototype.
When the performance of the net is reliant on the operation of a particular network appliance or third-party technology – A good example is a costly video scoreboard or a third-party provided WAN link. The only big design modification that needs a pilot is the installation of the Frame Relay connection to the distant sites. A pilot is a fine selection to test this connection because it tests the real connection quality along with the device configuration and functionality.
Creating a prototype to test a net project entails a significant amount of planning. The network architect generates a test plan before beginning the procedure, to confirm that the goals of the test are clear and measurable. A test strategy is mandatory for all the modern networks.
Source: Ezine Articles – Manolis Skoras